Monday, February 18, 2019
President López Obrador announced today the creation of a new government investment council before a gathering of business leaders in Mexico City which included the nation’s richest man, Carlos Slim.
The new entity, the Council for Investment Promotion, Employment and Economic Growth, will be headed up by the president’s chief of staff, Alfonso Romo.
He said the council’s objective will be to stimulate economic growth with the private, public and social sectors working together.
The secretariats of Agriculture (Sader), Communications and Transportation (SCT), Economy (SE), Energy (Sener), Finance (SHCP), Environment (Semarnat), Foreign Affairs (SRE), Labor (STPS) and Tourism (Sectur) will all be represented on the council, he explained.
Representatives from academia, business, technology, labor, and civil society will also join the council through positions on different committees.
“It will be a forum for discussion and analysis that will be supported by specific committees in the mentioned sectors. All of you are involved,” Romo said.
“They entrusted me, and I quote the president verbatim, ‘to promote the convergence of the public, private and social sectors to get out of the economic stagnation that has meant growing at a rate of barely 2% for more than 30 years,’” Romo added.
The chief of staff, a former Olympic equestrian show-jumper and business tycoon, said the council will prioritize innovation, the adoption of new technologies and providing support for small and medium-sized businesses.
“If we want to offer opportunities to young people we must accelerate the focus on innovative technologies, industries of the future, information technology, biotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, genomics, and renewable energy. We must transition to this new reality,” Romo said.
He acknowledged that a lot of challenges must be overcome to achieve greater economic growth and development, specifically citing protectionism, trade wars, and regional geopolitical tensions, but stressed that Mexico could “turn those threats into opportunities.”
Romo added: “[We can] turn Mexico into an investment paradise and a competitive country. To do that, it’s necessary to bring the public, private and social sectors together for national economic development . . .”
López Obrador said his goal is economic growth of 4% annually, a figure almost double the 2019 and 2020 projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Public, private and foreign investment is required. We need investment to take growth from 2% to 4% . . . that’s the goal, that’s the task of Poncho [Romo]. It’s what we have to achieve between all of us with the coordination of Alfonso Romo . . .” he said.
López Obrador thanked the business leaders present for their support. In addition to Slim were Miguel Alemán Magnani, executive president of the airline Interjet, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, founder and chairman of Grupo Salinas, a conglomerate that includes Banco Azteca, TV Azteca, and Elektra, and Business Coordinating Council (CCE) president Juan Pablo Castañón.
“. . . We’re going to work together, we’re always going to put the general interest first, the national interest. I know that you love Mexico very much,” the president said.
Source: El Financiero (sp)